Cross-country motorbike rider beheaded by piano wire

A MOTOCROSS rider has been decapitated after piano wire was strung between two trees on a farm, Italian police revealed yesterday.

Marco Badiali, 48, a father of two, was beheaded in front of other riders travelling at 60mph. Officials suspended the competition and called in police, who were last night questioning a local farmer in connection with the death.

The tragedy happened as Mr Badiali, an electrical engineer, was riding his high-performance Yamaha 450 in countryside near Modena, Italy.

Ferdinando Barbieri, a friend, said: "We walked the course the night before and the wire was not there - someone put it there deliberately. It's unbelievable. Marco was killed in front of us.

"The wire was put there on purpose by someone with the intention of killing a rider and whoever it was has achieved that."

A police spokesman said: "A local farmer is being questioned in connection with this death but we are releasing no details about him. We are also looking for others in connection with the incident."